Safari Tour: Wakhu toasts to victory
David Wakhu has clinched the fourth leg of the Safari Tour golf series, his second career victory in the competition overcoming strong challenge from club-mate Eric Ooko and Vet Lab’s Edwin Mudanyi at the par 72 Sigona Golf course.
He started well by picking up a birdie at the first hole, but almost lost it after hitting three straight bogeys from the par three-fifth. He closed the first nine with a birdie at the down-hilly ninth which revived his quest for a first victory since Nyali Golf and Country Club in 2019. He set off for the back nine with a birdie at the 10th and seven pars that gave him one over par 73.
Despite four bogeys on both nines with rounds of 69, 74, 71, 73, Wakhu wrapped up his four-day campaign with a gross total of 1 under par 287 beating his final day rivals by 3 strokes to lift the coveted Sigona trophy.
Wakhu walked home with Ksh. 150,000, being the overnight leader on penultimate day along Mudanyi and Ooko who carded identical four over par 76 to tie for the second place and were joined in second place by Mumias’ Dismas Indiza. On his part, Indiza fired one over par 73 for an all rounds total of two over par 290.
“I’m pleased. The win couldn’t have come at a better time when I was struggling with heel and elbow issues. I must say my game is getting better after fixing my elbow, and I am now left to deal with my heel which is still problematic. I am now more confident and looking forward to playing well in the Uganda and Kenya Open,” said Wakhu adding that landing sponsorship would immensely help his game.
Eric Ooko who was also a penultimate round leader was left to rue a 5 over he posted on the back nine after playing level par in the front nine.
He, however, reiterated Wakhu’s need for sponsorship going forward believing that finishing on under par in the next tournament is possible for him.
It was, however, a tough final round for Mudanyi who despite finishing second, was happy with his progress.
On the side of foreign pros, Zimbabwean Robson Chinhoi who was victorious at Royal Nairobi Golf Club a fortnight ago finished 11th at Sigona after a closing round of 7 over par 79 in the four days 72-hole stroke play competition.
Philip Kasozi of Uganda wrapped his his campaign in 21st with scores of 73, 78, 76, 77 for a gross total of 16 over par 304.
Paul Chidale of Malawi came 24th with +21.
Adel Balala of Mombasa in T18 with Rizwan Charania was the leading amateur player in 12 over par 300.
A 22-year-old Naomi Wafula was the second placed amateur golfer in 23rd spot.
But Wafula made history by being the first lady golfer to make a Safari Tour cut.